Sermon Notes & References

Live in the Light of Jesus’ Coming

2 Peter 3:14-18

April 5, 2020

1.  Our Christian Hope

     a.  A Satisfying Hope Footnote

     b.  A Purifying Hope (v 11, 13) Footnote

2.  Live to Fulfill Salvation (v 14-15a)

     a.  Our Sanctification Footnote

     b.  The Gospel Preached Everywhere Footnote

3.  Live According to Scripture (v 15b-16)

     a.  Paul Agrees in This

     b.  The Scriptures True No Matter What Unbelievers Say

4.  Live to Stay Steadfast (v 17) Footnote

     a.  Scriptures Give Saving Foreknowledge

     b.  The Danger Clearly Described

5.  Live to the Glory of God

     a.  Maturing in Jesus Christ Footnote

     b.  Worship to Our Lord & Saviour Footnote


Endnote  2 Peter 3:14-18. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Live in the Light of Jesus’ Coming

 

1.  Our Christian Hope

     a.  A Satisfying Hope

          i.   The Past Appearance of Jesus

                (1) the entrance of the Christ into the world took place in Bethlehem

                (2) the entrance of the Christ into His ministry, at Nazareth, Lk. 4:16ff

                (3) but the entrance into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, to the cries of Hosanna! the waving of palm leaves, the strewing of garments on the way, the cleansing of the temple and all the other events that began that holy week, when Christ presenting Himself officially to the chosen nation as their long promised Messiah

                     (a) hoped for such a long time

                     (b) about 1½ millennia after Moses spoke of His coming

                     (c) a little less than a millennium since the promise to King David

                     (d) about 700 years since foretold by Isaiah; then, other prophets

                     (e) a long time, but the Lord is not slack in keeping His promises

                (4) the hope of the faithful of Israel had been satisfied

                     (a) Simeon in the temple had seen it fulfilled shortly after His birth

                     (b) thousands now saw it satisfied on that day

                     (c) and though as a nation they cried out “Crucify Him!” one short week later, that did not annul God’s having fully kept His promise – quite the opposite, for Christ brought salvation

                (5) so that though we cannot as usual decorate our gathering place with palm leaves, perhaps you parents can do so at home

                     (a) to remember this auspicious start to the holy week

                     (b) and that God satisfied His promises in Christ’s first coming

          ii.  The Future Appearance of Jesus

                (1) will most assuredly come so God’s promise of that will be satisfied

                (2) for this we eagerly hope as Christians

                     (a) let me remind you again Christian hope is not wishful thinking

                     (b) the word was used in wills and contracts, giving an expectation

                     (c) God’s new covenant is such a contract, and we His children are guaranteed this expectation under its terms

                     (d) Jesus Christ will return and usher in His eternal kingdom

 

     b.  A Purifying Hope

          i.   such a hope, such an expectation is not given to us as a curiosity

                (1) nor something to debate its ins and outs, its details

                (2) which is why the Bible is often vague about those details

                (3) yet which some have built huge structures on a few words

                (4) but it is given so we shape our lives in its anticipation

          ii.  a preparation for the transition from time to eternity

                (1) v. 11a – “Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, …”

                     (a) this earthly existence will pass away

                     (b) our earthly possessions will disappear

                     (c) & only our immortal soul – the person we are – will remain

                (2) v, 13a – “But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, …”

                     (a) an outcome that the unbeliever shall never enjoy

                     (b) but for Christians, it is their inheritance, their expectation

                     (c) and for which we who believe should prepare

          iii.  our sanctification as a preparation

                (1) verse 11b – “… what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,”

                     (a) Peter expresses that preparation as having two faces

                          (i)  one is toward our fellow men – holy conduct – having a manner of life that sets us apart; seen by others both the saved and the unsaved, identifying us as God’s children

                          (ii) the other is towards God Himself – godliness – enjoying our worshipful relationship with God through Jesus Christ

                     (b) these can be seen together as summing up sanctification

                          (i)  the work of the Holy Spirit in us

                          (ii) with our responsibility being to “walk in the Spirit”

                          (iii)      which things prepare us for living in that place …

                (2) verse 13b – “… in which righteousness dwells.”

                     (a) so that when we meet Christ, it will be surprising, not shocking

                     (b) so that when it comes, it will be like going to a place with which we have become familiar throughout out lives

                     (c) as David could anticipate, “Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalms 23:6)

 

2.  Live to Fulfill Salvation – verses 14-15a – 14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15a and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation; …”

     a.  Our Sanctification

          i.   “to be salvation” – the purpose of salvation needs to be fulfilled in us

                (1) yes, we have already spoken about sanctification

                (2) God’s work in the Holy Spirit setting us apart as a special people for Himself – but it is a work not to be summed up in two verses

          ii.  and here our part in this work is emphasised, “be diligent”

                (1) we met up with that word earlier in this chapter – “hastening”

                (2) showing an eager desire to fulfill that which follows

          iii.  “to be found by Him in peace”

                (1) some say peace with God; some, with believers; some, with all men

                (2) but why quibble over which? All are commanded in the NT.

                (3) peace should mark the Christian: for we serve the Prince of Peace

          iv. “spotless and blameless”

                (1) these are to mark our character

                (2) having been washed of our sins by Christ’s work at Calvary

                     (a) we should now seek daily cleansing as in 1 John 1 through the confession of our sins and asking forgiveness

                     (b) so the taint of sin does not cling to us but we be spotless

                (3) and as a result that we live in such a way

                     (a) that no one can rightfully cast accusations upon us

                     (b) so that we bear the Name of Christ, free from rebuke

          v.  “And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.” (1 John 2:28)

 

     b.  The Gospel Preached Everywhere

          i.   as sanctification is the fulfilment of salvation in us believers

                (1) so the preaching of the gospel to all nations is given as a condition, as we mentioned last week, of Christ’s return (e.g. Mark 13:10)

                (2) though we are not called as evangelists or missionaries, that does not prevent us having a part in that endeavour

          ii.  there are some in our congregation who actively take part

                (1) they regularly pray for those engaged in such ministry

                (2) they contribute to these ministries

                (3) they encourage other believers to do the same

 

3.  Live According to Scripture – verses 15b-16 – 15b … just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.”

     a.  Paul Agrees in This

          i.   what Peter is saying is not unique to his letter

          ii.  Paul’s letters contain these same truths

          iii.  for Peter, Paul & NT writers are inspired by the same Holy Spirit

          iv. and though some things are difficult to understand, that does not make them any less true: so believe & do what you do understand

 

     b.  The Scriptures True No Matter What Unbelievers Say

          i.   I was looking for “certain” in my Roget’s Thesaurus– that’s a book that gives different words that have the same or similar meanings

          ii.  and what did I find near the top of the list? “gospel, Scripture”

          iii.  unbelievers have spoken sarcastically & negatively about the Bible

          iv. yet, the Bible stands like a Rock; it stands the tests of time

          v.  and the manner ot life it teaches has proved to be the best

 

4.  Live to Stay Steadfast – verse 17 – “You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness,”

     a.  Scriptures Give Saving Foreknowledge

          i.   Peter’s words (& Jesus’, Paul’s, etc) are useful to God’s children

                (1) before Titus came against Jerusalem to destroy it, 70AD

                (2) many Christians, seeing the signs foretold by Jesus in the Olivet discourse (Matthew 24 & 25) knew enough to flee the city

          ii.  so we, because we know that Christ is going to return

                (1) can take those actions now to be ready, even as Jesus Himself taught in the parable of the 10 virgins (Matthew 25:1ff)

                (2) while unbelievers can come to repentance as they see world history shaping to come to an end in accordance with the Scriptures

          iii.  and in these ways they are saved

 

     b.  The Danger Clearly Described

          i.   who it is from?

                (1) the unprincipled, the wicked, the lawless

                (2) these are people who pay no attention to the divine ordinances

                (3) their rule of life is to do whatever is right in their own eyes

          ii.  what is their goal?

                (1) having no real assurance, or true, proven basis for living

                (2) it is to unsettle those who have found in Jesus their all in all

                (3) to try and make them like themselves

          iii.  so, watch out and get distant from them like the plague

 

5.  Live to the Glory of God – verse 18 – “but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”

     a.  Maturing in Jesus Christ

          i.   in this context it is my understanding that the word grace does not have its usual theological flavour of unmerited favour

                (1) but an outward grace or beauty: in other words Christian virtue

                (2) such as is found in the list of Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

                (3) so this encompasses all that is fine & beautiful of being in Christ

                (4) to grow up, or mature, into the fullness of Christ, Ephesians 4:13

          ii.  it is this growth that accompanies and will enable the other growth

                (1) growing into the knowledge of our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ

                (2) that as we know Him (not just about Him) His beauty shine in us

 

     b.  Worship to Our Lord & Saviour

          i.   may you in your life, your speech, your attitude, your deeds

          ii.  whatever you do, do all to the glory of God,

          iii.  “in order that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 1:12)

          iv. what conclusion could be better than that for each of us!